Surely the best way to learn about the City of Edinburgh is to take a guided tour with a passionate and local historian.
Eric offers a number of bespoke walks that will guide you through the historic Old Town and the celebrated Georgian New Town.
Depending on your interests and the time that you have available you can choose from the list below or ask for a walk that best suits you.
The historic fort atop Castle Rock
The Old Town
From the Castlehill to the Tollbooth (‘The Heart of Midlothian’)
The Old Town
From St Giles to John Knox’s House.
The way to Holyrood
The New Town
From Register House to the Mound
The New Town
From Hanover Street to Charlotte Square
These walks last for about two hours but a longer walk going into more depth is of course available as well. (e.g. the Royal Mile from the Castle to the Palace; The Old and New Towns.)
Please get in contact directly for walking tour enquiries:
Eric Melvin, 6 Cluny Place, Edinburgh EH10 4RL
Tel. 0131 447 5578; Mob 07523 270882;
Email Eric Here
The basic cost for an adult is £10 for a standard 2 hour tour (£5 for concessions). For longer tours, prices will be by arrangement depending on numbers and time. Please note that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the excellent Scottish charity Mary’s Meals – www.marysmeals.org.uk
Walking Tours with Edinburgh Festival Voluntary Guides
Eric Melvin is a proud volunteer with The Edinburgh Festival Volunteer Guides Association (EFVGA), who for over 70 years have been educating and enlightening visitors to Edinburgh with their exceptional walking tours of the city.
The guides are all trained local people with a great love of Edinburgh who wish to share their enthusiasm with the rest of the world. The EFVGA’s patron is the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh.
During the August weeks of the Edinburgh International Festival, the EFVGA offers free tours for visitors and local residents. These tours are offered both mornings and afternoons on each day of the Festival. The Festival Tours take participants down the historic Royal Mile.
Booking is not required and the tours are genuinely free though donations are welcome to help the work of the EFVGA. The tours normally last for about 2 hours. Groups are always kept small, usually between 6 – 8 people. Details of these free tours can be found on the EFVGA web site www.edinburghfestivalguides.org
“Do not pay for a tour when these guys do a fantastic job”
“Eric our tour guide was informative amusing and knowledgeable. This organisation runs free tours through the festival and I cannot imagine a better tour for the history of the Royal Mile.” (Reviewed 14 August 2015)
Arrange a Tour
EFVGA Tours are also available throughout the year. These have to be pre-booked. Tours currently available are: The Old Town, The New Town, Edinburgh Castle and the Grassmarket.
Arranging a tour is quick and easy. Visit edinburghfestivalguides.org to make a booking.
Special arrangements can be made to accommodate groups of any size. There is a charge of £5 a head for these out-of-season tours with all receipts going to the running of Edinburgh Festival Voluntary Guides.
Please note that tours for school parties and voluntary groups will continue to be free of charge throughout the year.
Arrange a Tour
“This tour was an excellent way to explore the Royal Mile and the Old Town of Edinburgh.
Our guide, Eric, was extremely knowledgeable about the city from the medieval era to modern times. He was so friendly and engaging with our small group (eight people with seven different nationalities) and ensured we all enjoyed ourselves. I would highly recommend…”MR, Germany (via edinburghfestivalguides.org)
Talks and Presentations
Eric also has a range of presentations that is offered to groups. These Powerpoint presentations normally last for 45 – 60 minutes.
As well as offering these talks to groups such as local history societies, the U3A, the Saltire Society and Probus Clubs, the presentations also may be of interest to visitors coming to Edinburgh during the winter months.
A walking tour on the Royal Mile on a dark, cold, wet and windy November evening is not to everyone’s taste. So why not let the Royal Mile come to you in the comfort of your hotel? As well as ‘walking’ down the historic street you might prefer to learn something about the tragic Mary, Queen of Scots; the housebreaker Deacon William Brodie, respectable citizen by day but villain by night who inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write ‘Dr Jeykll and Mr. Hyde’; or the serial killers William Burke and William Hare who supplied at least 16 bodies to Dr Robert Knox.
Current Talks by Eric Melvin
• A brief overview of Edinburgh’s History
• The Early History of Edinburgh
• The Edinburgh of James IV
• The Edinburgh of Mary, Queen of Scots
• 17th Century Edinburgh
• Edinburgh and the Act of Union 1707
• The Porteous Riot and the ’45 (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’)
• Life in the 18th Century Old Town
• Planning for a New Town
• Life in Edinburgh’s New Town
• The Edinburgh of John Kay (The famous caricaturist working in Edinburgh c 1785 -1822).
• ‘The Athens of the North’
• The Edinburgh of Deacon Brodie
• The Story of Thomas Muir (the advocate transported in 1793 for sedition)
• The Visit of George IV (1822)
• The Edinburgh of Burke & Hare
• Life in the 19th Century Old Town
• A Visit to Edinburgh Castle
• A Walk down the Royal Mile ( 3 separate talks if required)
• A Walk in the New Town (2 separate walks if required)
• The Southside of Edinburgh
• A Visit to Chogoria, Kenya
• A Visit to the Maasai Mara, Kenya
• A Visit to Japan
• Egypt – Luxor to Aswan
Arrange a Presentation
If you would like Eric Melvin to deliver one or a series of presentations from the above list, he would be more than happy to do so.
Please get in contact directly for presentation enquiries
“On behalf of our members many thanks for another splendid talk on Edinburgh’s history.
The link between John Kay and the many notable people he drew made for an interesting record of an important period for Edinburgh and Scotland.”
“Once again I would like to thank you for your talk yesterday about Mary Queen of Scots. I loved all your extra details which add to the attraction of your account. You have such a pleasant voice to listen to and your audience was very receptive and enjoyed your humour.”